Where to Find Opportunities for Profit

It’s earnings season again, and this is the ideal time for any investor to be looking for new opportunities in the stock market. You don’t necessarily want to buy and sell on any specific news, but earnings season is a great time to be generating lists of stocks to investigate further.

I’ve found it very useful to always have a list of new stock market opportunities on the go. It doesn’t have to be fancy, as even a scrap paper with scribbled notes will do. Perhaps you want to take note when a company reports earnings that were well ahead of consensus estimates. Perhaps a company announces a new acquisition or major contract win. Perhaps a stock is emerging from a sustained downtrend.

During earnings season, you want to be spending some time perusing the news wire services for opportunities. If you come across a company or news item that sounds interesting, write down the company’s stock symbol right away, so you can look into the opportunity later on.

You can easily conduct investment research on the Internet. Try www.businesswire.com or www.prnewswire.com. The finance section of Yahoo! is also a great. On these sites, you can easily review stocks that have been recently upgraded or downgraded by Wall Street, you can review the companies that beat Street expectations, and you get a lot of varying perspectives on particular stocks in many of the free commentaries that are available on the Web.

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When it’s earnings season, it’s worth the time and effort to do your own market research… Look at a company’s most up- to-date financial situation, look at a company’s forecast for the next quarter, listen to earnings conference calls, and watch how the market reacts to corporate news, negative and positive.

When I’m scanning the market for opportunities, I look for a few specific attributes in a stock:

—A company must be an innovator in its industry.

—A company must be doing something new or better than its competitors.

—A company must have some track record of success, either on the stock market or operationally.

—A company must have a reasonable valuation on the stock market.

—A company must be financially healthy, relative to its prospects.

—A company must offer you proper liquidity in the marketplace, and be attractive to both individuals and institutional investors.

—A company must also be garnering increasing attention from the financial community and media.

What it come down to is this. You only want to consider companies that are the best of the best. If a company is an innovator and it has a track record of success, then it should offer you reasonable financial metrics

Only with the above attributes is a stock market opportunity worthy of further consideration. The good news is that, while it’s earnings season, much of the information you need to properly analyze a particular opportunity is easily at your disposal.